Domestic nuclear fleet had capacity factor of almost 90% in March

The U.S. fleet’s average estimated capacity factor in March 2016 was 89.7%, compared to 88% in March 2015, according to a monthly report from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

Seventy-eight reactors had a 90% or higher capacity factor in March. Seventeen reactors were shut down during some part of March for refueling.

Estimated U.S. nuclear generation in March 2016 was 66.2 billion kWh, compared to 64.5 billion kWh in March 2015, NEI said in its Nuclear Performance report for March.

When the Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) Brunswick 1 finished refueling shortly before midnight on March 24, it marked completion of the shortest outage in the plant’s four-decade history. The 27-day outage beat the previous record, set by Unit 1 in 2000, by 12 hours, NEI said.

The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are traditionally when most nuclear units conduct their maintenance and refueling outages.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.